Boston College helped with transfer after Eagles football player declined COVID-19 vaccine

Boston College has vaccinated its entire football team and coaching staff for COVID-19, coach Jeff Hafley said Thursday, though the Eagles did help one player who was unwilling to get the shot to transfer.

Boston College has instituted mandatory vaccinations starting with the fall semester, and Hafley said the buy-in from his players was swift. One player, whom Hafley declined to name, refused the vaccination, however, and in June, the program aided in his transfer to another school.

"I never gave my opinion about it. I just said, 'This is the school rule,'" Hafley said. "If you don't want to get it, I'll support you. We had one player who didn't want to get it, and we helped find him a new home."

The Eagles were among the most successful programs in preventing COVID-19 during the 2020 season, with only one player testing positive throughout the season.

On Wednesday, ACC commissioner Jim Phillips said that more than half the 14-team league has reached the suggested 85% threshold for vaccinations and several others are "on the cusp." That number is aided significantly by vaccine mandates at private institutions.

At Wake Forest, coach Dave Clawson said that 126 of 129 players, along with his entire staff, will be vaccinated by the start of fall camp. Syracuse coach Dino Babers said that nearly all of his players were vaccinated, while Duke has just one player unvaccinated.

Notre Dame, a partial ACC member, has also instituted vaccine requirements that extend to its entire student body.

NC State coach Dave Doeren said he has pointed to the school's baseball team, which was sent home from the College World Series due to a COVID-19 outbreak, as evidence for the need to get vaccinated, but without a school or government mandate, there are a number of players who refuse to get the shot.

"I'd love to say this is mandatory," Doeren said, "but there's legitimate concerns for some guys on it. I can't play doctor, but I can point out all that stuff and talk about our baseball team, and we don't want to be like that. But at the same time, there are some kids who fundamentally don't believe in that and aren't going to do it."